I am extremely happy to present Venk matya's Lakshmiswayamvara Samavakara to the lovers of Sans krit. This work, critically edited by Sri R. Raghavendra Rao, M.A., is being published by the Oriental Research Institute, Mysore and I am glad to state that other works of Venkämatya alias Pradhani Venkappayya, will follow in this series.
Pradhani Venkappayya was a prolific writer of the 18th Cen. A.D. His contribution to the diamatic liter rature of Sanskrit is great both qualitatively and quanti tatively. All major types of Sanskrit diama, except Nataka and Piakarana, have been exemplified by Venkappayya very ably. In addition to this, he has written standard works in the categories of Mahäkävya, Campu and Gadyakävya Besides, his works on poetics and Advaita are also remarkable. His contribution to Stotra literature in Sanskrit and Kannada is also note- worthy. It is a matter of genuine pride for the Oriental Research Institute, Mysore, to have the privilege of publishing Venkamatya's works for the first time.
The rich Sanskrit tradition of the past was kept alive. by the people of Karnataka during the 18th century. Among those who contributed liberally to the develop- ment of literature of the period was Pradhan Venkamatya. He wrote works in Kannada and Sanskrit and the latter seems to have occupied most of his attention.
Venkamätya, more popularly known as Venkappaiya, was the son of Vamamba' and Ramapuri Hampaya mätya. Obviously, he belonged to a family of ministers as indicated by the name of his father. It is said that he was born in the 'Aruveli niyogi sect of Brähmanas. His literary output in later years shows that he received good. education in the arts and letters of the period during his early years.
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